Peter Beinart was motivated to cry out to Americans about the occupation when he saw a shocking video of a Palestinian being arrested at his farm near Hebron for insisting on his rights to village water.
Well it's two years after that video. And here is another, from last month, shocking in its bald exposure of the humiliations of Palestinians, inflicted by Jewish soldiers acting in my name and Beinart's name.
A shepherd with a crooked staff insists on his right to graze his sheep on village lands near the settlement of Otniel. He is accompanied by Israeli and international activists, god bless them. The soldiers run him off.
You will see the shepherd getting angry, as he should get angry, at about minute 3. The man has nobility. (He is facing the same blank authority that Jews faced in the Pale of Settlement)
You will see the officer explaining that the settlers fear terrorists at minute 7:30 or so. And this is why the shepherd must not come too close. On his village lands.
This is ethnic cleansing before your eyes. It is the reason that so many despair of Partition, it hasn't worked. There is one authority between the river and the sea, and the battle is to give the subject people their rights.
From Ron, the Brit in the video, writing to his community back home:
"Last Saturday (March 10th) I was in the South Hebron hills again with
Ta'ayush (the Jewish/Arab Partnership). A large group of activists
went to the village of At-Tuwani but I was assigned to a group of four
which was sent to the tiny community of Um-el-Amad. Our task was to
accompany local Palestinian shepherds as they took their flocks to
graze on privately-owned Palestinian land.
Our presence there was asked for because earlier in the week two
shepherds had been kidnapped by the Israeli military, taken to the
nearby settlement of Ot'niel and beaten up. Their 'crime' ? - they
were too close to the settlement, even though they were on their own
The video was filmed by Ta'ayush activists.
Just by way of explanation, the Israeli soldiers appeared a short time
after we arrived at the grazing areas, alerted by the settlement
security officer. The senior soldier was very aggressive and when the
shepherd refused to leave his land he told us we were detained. He was
obviously eager to arrest us, but only the police can arrest Israeli
citizens and internationals.
He then phoned the Israeli police who arrived 15 minutes later. The
senior police officer was much more reasonable, aware no doubt that we
were on privately-owned Palestinian land and there quite legally. (I
guess that he thought the idea of arresting us would mean lots of
paperwork for no real reason.) At one point he took the aggressive
soldier to one side ,arm round his shoulder. Shortly afterwards the
soldiers left , disconsolately, only to be replaced a few minutes
later by two more, one of whom was a more senior officer.
The officer asked us to move 100 metres away from the settlement
perimeter, explaining that his soldiers couldn't see us from the
watchtower ! As we were on Palestinian land and no security threat, we
refused. He then left the scene as did the police. Our unjustified
detention was over.
It was a small victory but without the presence of Ta'ayush, I
suspect the shepherds would have been expelled from their own land."